Are you feeling stuck abroad career wise, especially without a work permit? Get started somewhere is my conclusion.
The past weeks I’ve been working with expat partners in a group coaching course on careers. They’ve all had different career insights, but my own conclusion from preparing this course, is this:
The most important thing is to get started somewhere. When you start, things will start moving around you.
When we move abroad
When we move abroad without a work permit or without a job lined up, it takes time to get your ducks in a row. Arrange a house, get your sea freight delivered, partner off to work, kids settled in school, manage to locate the supermarket and where to find the balsamic vinegar (who put that in the non halal shop?).
Only when all those boxes are checked, do we feel comfortable to look for jobs.
And then we notice that it isn’t always easy to find a job abroad, especially if we want one that matches our education level, our previous salary, number of holidays and does not need a local network, a local permit or speaking the local language.
And then it is easy to get stuck. Because there are a ton of other things calling for your attention when you live abroad.
Life goes on
Family- especially little kids but also maintaining contact with family back home, building friendships, going on adventures. You discover that life goes on when you don’t work.
You start wondering how you found the time to have a career before 😉
You may start experiencing self doubt- who will hire me if I do not work for 4 years?
The uneasy feeling
Perhaps you start feeling uneasy when you think about careers. Where do you even get started with a career change or reinventing yourself temporarily or permanently abroad? If only you would find the time to sit down and list your options. If only you had the funds for a new study. If only…
There’s always something
But then the kids are sick, your partner’s going through a tough time at work, your mum is having an operation, your helper is on holiday. There’s always something preventing you from taking the first step.
And you do not feel like
And you do not feel like doing another 4 years of study- because you think that is a necessity. After all, it’s how you found a career the first time round.
And you do not feel like spending a lot of money on a study, or on a website for your business, or on a career coach- because you think that’s a necessity.
And you do not feel like you want to leave the children with a nanny all day, every day- because you think that’s a necessity.
So you never start
So you do not start and stay stuck. Having a career is starting to feel like a mountain that you will not ever be able to climb again.
And that’s why it is important to get started- somewhere, anywhere.
- Start writing down any ideas you have about careers or jobs while you are waiting for the kettle to boil.
- Think back about the jobs you loved doing, the work that excited you.
- Look at all the skills you gained from volunteering and from living abroad
- Start talking about your ideas with friends
- Find a friend who also wants to restart her career and encourage each other.
- Read a book about career change or follow interesting people on LinkedIn.
- Do a short free online course.
Experiment and Have Fun
Experiment. Have fun. Fail or just discover this experiment s not it. Retry. Experiment. Have fun.